Swedish regulator slaps Kindred, ATG and PinBet with €1.7m in penalties for AML failures

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The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has imposed financial penalties on Kindred, ATG and PinBet for serious shortcomings in their anti-money laundering measures.

Kindred subsidiary Spooniker received a warning and a sanction fee of SEK10.9m (€926,394), while horseracing and betting operator ATG was ordered to pay SEK6m (€550,879) and PinBet was issued a penalty of SEK2m (€183,626).

In all three cases, the SGA analysed the operators’ AML/CFT processes and reviewed the transaction history of randomly selected, high-depositing customers.

The investigation into Kindred covered the period between January 2019 and February 2022.

When reviewing the customer history, the SGA found that in 10 cases, the operator had either failed in meeting enhanced due diligence requirements, had not taken sufficient measures to assess the AML and CFT risk, or had not acted quickly enough to close the players’ accounts.

In response to the penalty, Kindred highlighted that since 2021, it had implemented several improvements to further strengthen its AML processes.

The operator said it had expanded its AML team to manage increased requirements related to appropriately identifying and managing customer risk, while also improving its AML procedures.

As a result, the number of risk-assessed customers and suspicious transaction reports sent to the financial police had increased.

Kindred stressed it fully shared the SGA’s ambition to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

However, the operator said it would welcome “increased clarity from the SGA” and guidance on objective and effective AML risk parameters that should be considered when assessing a customer’s risk profile.

Kindred is considering a potential appeal of the warning and sanction fee.

In a separate investigation, the SGA analysed ATG, or AB Trav och Galopp, between 1 January and 31 March 2020 and between 1 January and 31 March 2021.

The authority reviewed 13 customers, and found in eight cases where ATG had failed to sufficiently ascertain the identity of its customers and their source of funds.

ATG said it did not share the SGA’s opinion fully. The company said that that even if there were some shortcomings, which were the “result of the human factor,” it believed it still had sufficient measures in place to manage AML and CFT risks.

Nonetheless, ATG stressed that in 2022, it had introduced various systems to better control its customers of different risk categories.

The company also adopted a system that automatically sends KYC questionnaires to its medium-risk customers and carries out further investigations based on the customers’ answers.

The SGA’s investigation into PinBet, meanwhile, covered the period between June 2020 and January 2022.

The SGA reviewed the transaction history of 12 customers and identified shortcomings in 10 cases.

PinBet said it believed the SGA was correct, but emphasised it had taken several measures to improve its work in countering the financing of money laundering and terrorism, including improving its systems, policies and procedures, as well as training its staff.

In addition, PinBet said it had restructured its legal, regulatory and compliance functions and departments to further strengthen its regulatory framework internally.

About the author

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Sonja Lindenberg

Sonja Lindenberg is an experienced editor and journalist, with a strong focus on business, finance, trade and investment. She holds a degree in business journalism and throughout the past two decades has covered companies and industries in various markets and for different media, including newspapers, news agencies, inflight magazines, country reports and trade publications. Sonja joined iGaming NEXT in June 2022.

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